The importance of images in web design
Most of us are aware that the use of images in social media communications increases engagement, but does this visual approach also translate through to your web site?
Web users are bored easily. Why wouldn’t they be when they know that another quick click and they can get something better? It’s no longer enough to just put the information on the page – you have to engage your readers with some visual attraction too. The number one way to do this? Using effectively chosen images to increase the clarity of your message, look more attractive, and convey your personality.
Engaging images – making your point in a millisecond
The cliché is true; a picture says a thousand words. They capture moments and feelings which evoke and draw the reader in, providing clarity on your message and your values. The perfect image will engage and entertain the user – which is exactly what you want your website to do. You want it to be a place where your user wants to come back.
Images of credibility
Real pictures increase your credibility. It is an assertion to the world that you are willing to represent your brand authentically, that you are proud of who you are and that you are transparent about it. People love to see who they will be dealing with, and being able to put faces to names makes you far more approachable too. Did you know that users spend, on average, three times as long looking at a person’s picture than their biography even though the biography takes up more room on the page?
It is especially important to think about using real images on your About Us page
Creating a professional image
Professional imagery and professional design creates an image of a professional company. Custom design and imagery will always be the best way of supporting and broadcasting your brand image and clarifying your message in a memorable and engaging way.
Balancing your design – contrast and whitespace
Let’s face it – a web page with no images on it looks pretty boring. On a very basic level, images bring contrast to a design which actually helps to emphasise your content by giving it the space to breathe. I’ve written before about how vital effective use of whitespace is in web design, and one of the main ways that the right balance is reached is by effectively changing the sizes and placement of images to complement and contrast the text.
The flip side – bad stock imagery and bland graphics
While great images make a great impression and clarify your message you do have to be aware that bad images can actually make things worse by sending conflicting messages. It’s all too easy to make mistakes with cheesy stock images. Stock imagery makes money because their messages are broad and ultimately generic, which means they aren’t in the best position to emphasise your point. Sometimes you can stumble on something perfect, but don’t run the risk of confusing your reader
with a poor choice!
We’re visual creatures
At the end of the day, we do judge books by their cover and make snap decisions based on what something looks like. When it only takes one click for your user to leave your website you have to do everything in your power to make them stay – and your website images are paramount to achieving that goal.
With thanks to guest blogger, Simon Bonello of British Design Experts.
Simon Bonello is the Director of British Design Experts, a design agency which specialises in creating professional and affordable logo design and digital work for start-ups and small businesses in the UK. He has helped thousands of start-ups to get a professional identity online and is an expert on developing a company logo and brand, creating an optimised online presence with SEO and social media, and is always happy to share his knowledge and give advice to start-ups.